The season may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do in Kerry come late September. In fact, many people prefer to book a holiday home at Killarney’s Holiday Village later in the year to enjoy the attractions in peace and quiet and make the most of the golden light and changing colours. Here are some ideas for your autumn trip to Kerry:
Feast at the Dingle Food Festival
The Dingle Food Festival is an annual fixture on the first weekend in October every year in the beautiful fishing town of Dingle. This non-profit taste extravaganza is a favourite with locals and tourists alike. Some of the attractions include cooking demonstrations, workshops, wine and whiskey tastings, children’s events, street performances, and more than 50 market stalls.
Experience the Autumn Equinox
Discovered as recently as 2017 by a local hillwalker, an ancient phenomenon in West Kerry is worth visiting on September 22nd. A megalithic tomb called the Giant’s Grave lies in the valley of Loch an Dúin on the eastern side of the Conor Pass, but until last year nobody knew it was aligned to the setting sun of the equinox, which next happens on September 22nd.
Within the tomb, you will find ancient rock art, including a cup and circle near the head of the tomb.
Kells Bay Gardens (€8/6pp or €25 per family) are worth visiting at any time of the year, but a leisurely stroll later on the year is a bam for the senses. Enjoy the sub-tropical plants and waterfall and try out the new sky rope walk, suspended 36 feet above the River Delligeenagh (it is believed to be the longest rope bridge in the country). You can calm the adrenaline afterward with the gardens’ stunning views across Dingle Bay. – give it a whirl, before settling your pulse with the gardens’ beautiful views across Dingle Bay. kellsbay.ie; €8/6pp or €25 for a family.
Many exotic species of birds land here in the late autumn, some of them blown in by storms and some to overwinter here. The Kerry coastline is the natural entry point for these feathered travellers, with beauties such as the spoonbill landing in late September in Cromane (just off the Ring of Kerry road after Killorglin) and staying until March. Check out Kerry Birding for the best birdwatching locations.